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The Gift Mauss

The Gift Mauss

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Marcel Mauss THE GIFT: Forms and Functions of Exchange in Archaic Societies
©1967, Norton Library

I have never found a man so generous and hospitable that he would not receive a present, nor one so liberal with his money that he would dislike a reward if he could get one. Friends should rejoice each others’ hearts with gifts of weapons and raiment, that is clear from one’s own experience. That friendship lasts longest—if there is a chance of its being a success—in which friends both give and receive gifts. A man ought to be a friend to his friend and repay gift with gift. People should meet smiles with smiles and lies with treachery. Know—if you have a friend in whom you have sure confidence and wish to make use of him, you ought to exchange ideas and gifts with him and go to see him often. If you have another in whom you have no confidence and yet will make use of him, you ought to address him with fair words but crafty heart and repay treachery with lies. Further, with regard to him in whom you have no confidence and of whose motives you are suspicious, you ought to smile upon him and dissemble your feelings. Gifts ought to be repaid in like coin. Generous and bold men have the best time in life and never foster troubles. But the coward is apprehensive of everything and a miser is always groaning over his gifts. Better there should be no prayer than excessive offering; a gift always looks for recompense. Better there should be no sacrifice than an excessive slaughter. Havamal, vv. 39, 41-2, 44-6, 48 and 145, from the translation by D. E. Martin Clarke in The Havamal, with Selections from other Poems in the Edda, Cambridge, 1923.

INTRODUCTORY

GIFTS AND RETURN GIFTS
THE foregoing lines from the Edda outline our subject matter.1 In Scandinavian and many other civilizations contracts are fulfilled and exchanges of goods are made by means of gifts. In theory such gifts are voluntary but in fact they are given and repaid under obligation. This work is part of a wider study. For some years our attention has been drawn to the realm of contract and the system of economic prestations between the component sections or sub-groups of ‘primitive’ and what we might call

‘archaic’ societies. On this subject there is a great mass of complex data. For, in these ‘early’ societies, social phenomena are not discrete; each phenomenon contains all the threads of which the social fabric is composed. In these total social phenomena, as we propose to call them, all kinds of institutions find simultaneous expression: religious, legal, moral, and economic. In addition, the phenomena have their aesthetic aspect and they reveal morphological types. We intend in this book to isolate one important set of phenomena: namely, prestations which are in theory voluntary, disinterested and spontaneous, but are in fact obligatory and interested. The form usually taken is that of the gift generously offered; but the accompanying behaviour is formal pretence and social deception, while the transaction itself is based on obligation and economic self-interest. We shall note the various principles behind this necessary form of exchange (which is nothing less than the division of labour itself), but we shall confine our detailed study to the enquiry: In primitive or archaic types of society what is the principle whereby the gift received has to be repaid? What force is there in the thing given which compels the recipient to make a return? We hope, by presenting enough data, to be able to answer this question precisely, and also to indicate the direction in which answers to cognate questions might be sought. We shall also pose new problems. Of these, some concern the morality of the contract: for instance, the manner in which today the law of things remains bound up with the law of persons; and some refer to the forms and ideas which have always been present in exchange and which even now are to be seen in the idea of individual interest. Thus we have a double aim. We seek a set of more or less archaeological conclusions on the nature of human transactions in the societies which surround us and those which immediately preceded ours, and whose exchange institutions differ from our own. We describe their forms of contract and exchange. It has been suggested that these societies lack the economic market, but this is not true; for the market is a human phenomenon which we believe to be familiar to every known society. Markets are found before the development of merchants, and before their most important innovation, currency as we know it. They functioned before they took the modern forms (Semitic, Hellenic, Hellenistic, and Roman) of contract and sale and capital. We shall take note of the moral and economic features of these institutions. We contend that the same morality and economy are at work, albeit less noticeably, in our own societies, and we believe that in them we have discovered one of the bases of social life; and thus we may draw conclusions of a moral nature about some of the problems confronting us in our present economic crisis. These pages of social history, theoretical sociology, political economy and morality do no more than lead us to old problems which are constantly turning up under new guises.2

and North West America. Each particular study has a bearing on the systems we set out to describe and is presented in its logical place. or the chiefs as intermediaries for the groups. For it is groups. We propose to call this the system of total prestations. dances. In the systems of the past we do not find simple exchange of goods. anything like a ‘natural’ economy. and their sanction is private or open warfare. so we may start by summarizing what we have found so far. This further limits our field of comparison. Such institutions seem to us to be best represented in the alliance of pairs of phratries in Australian and North American tribes. They exchange rather courtesies. women. children. military assistance. Again. ritual. the groups. marriages. and fairs in which the market is but one element and the circulation of wealth but one part of a wide and enduring contract. PRESTATION.THE METHOD FOLLOWED Our method is one of careful comparison. which carry on exchange. where ritual. entertainments. and not individuals. and are bound by obligations. confront and oppose each other. succession to wealth. Davy and myself upon archaic forms of contract. we choose only areas where we have access to the minds of the societies through documentation and philological research. and feasts. wealth and produce through markets established among individuals. since we are concerned with words and their meanings. In this way we avoid that method of haphazard comparison in which institutions lose their local colour and documents their value.6 the persons represented in the contracts are moral persons—clans.5 In our study here of these same Polynesians we shall see how far removed they are from a state of nature in these matters.4 By a strange chance the type of that economy was taken to be the one described by Captain Cook when he wrote on exchange and barter among the Polynesians.7 Further. make contracts.3 It appears that there has never existed. We confine the study to certain chosen areas. although the prestations and counter-prestations take place under a voluntary guise they are in essence strictly obligatory. either in the past or in modern primitive societies. tribes. and families. GIFT AND POTLATCH This work is part of the wider research carried out by M. Finally. and to certain well-known codes. and things of economic value. real and personal property. what they exchange is not exclusively goods and wealth. military and religious rank and even games8 all form part of one system and presuppose the collaboration of . Polynesia. community of right and interest. Melanesia.

the coast.16 We find some of these intermediate forms in the Indo-European world. parties. These are all accompanied by ritual and by prestations by whose means political rank within sub-groups. shamanistic seances. although quite typical. as the Germans say. and pass their winters in continuous festival. and Papua. tribes. So far in our study Davy and I had found few examples of this institution outside North-West America. weddings. the French compete with each other in their ceremonial gifts. notably in Thrace. following American authors. The most important of these spiritual mechanisms is clearly the one which obliges us to make a return gift for a gift received. The tribes place themselves hierarchically in their fraternities and secret societies. This Chinook word has passed into the current language of Whites and Indians from Vancouver to Alaska. Essentially usurious and extravagant. if they are successful. The moral and religious reasons for this . makes contracts involving all its members and everything it possesses. Polynesia. to call it the potlatch. it is above all a struggle among nobles to determine their position in the hierarchy to the ultimate benefit. and others more moderate where the contracting parties rival each other with gifts: for instance. and the cults of the great gods. they are very rich. in banquets. A man is not afraid to challenge an opposing chief or nobleman. fairs and markets which at the same time are solemn tribal gatherings.9 But with the Tlingit and Haida.10 The Tlingit and Haida inhabit the islands. The Tlingit and Haida of North-West America give a good expression of the nature of these practices when they say that they ‘show respect to each other’. and feel bound. of their own clans.17 Many ideas and principles are to be noted in systems of this type. and invitations. and in the whole of that region. and Malaya. We propose. further research brings to light a number of forms intermediate between exchanges marked by exaggerated rivalry like those of the American north-west and Melanesia. total prestations appear in a form which. and group or individual ancestors. and the land between the coast and the Rockies. to revanchieren themselves.15 Everywhere else—in Africa.13 But the agonistic character of the prestation is pronounced. initiations. totems.the two moieties of the tribe. Potlatch meant originally ‘to nourish’ or ‘to consume’. is yet evolved and relatively rare. This agonistic type of total prestation we propose to call the ‘potlatch’.11 But the remarkable thing about these tribes is the spirit of rivalry and antagonism which dominates all their activities. through the intermediacy of its chiefs. However. in South America and the rest of North America—the basis of exchange seemed to us to be a simpler type of total prestation. Nor does one stop at the purely sumptuous destruction of accumulated wealth in order to eclipse a rival chief (who may be a close relative).14 Melanesia. tribal confederations and nations is settled.12 We are here confronted with total prestation in the sense that the whole clan. On these occasions are practised marriages.

a man gives his child to his sister and brother-in-law to bring up. ‘the husband and wife were left no richer than they were. did not indicate more complex institutions. and returns are made only through the system of rights which compels them.11 It is then a ‘channel through which native property12 or tonga.constraint are nowhere more obvious than in Polynesia. it is present also in respect of childbirth.9 Turner tells us that on birth ceremonies. and the brotherin-law. were put on a communal basis.4 girls’ puberty. prestige or mana which wealth confers. who is the child’s maternal uncle. a piece of feminine property. continues to flow to that family from the parents of the child.’10 These gifts are probably of an obligatory and permanent nature. Still. CHAPTER I GIFTS AND THE OBLIGATION TO RETURN GIFTS I. TOTAL PRESTATION MASCULINE AND FEMININE PROPERTY (SAMOA) IN our earlier researches on the distribution of the system of contractual gifts. authority and wealth. where cross-cousin marriage is the rule. the heaps of property collected on the occasion of the birth of their child.5 funeral ceremonies6 and trade. after receiving the oloa and the tonga. although we found they were present in Melanesia. etc. women and children.7 Moreover. they had the satisfaction of seeing what they considered to be a great honour. The facts that we had studied. including the remarkable Samoan custom of the exchange of decorated mats between chiefs on their marriages. that is to say of permanent contracts between clans in which their men. two elements of the potlatch have in fact been attested to: the honour. calls the child a tonga.. We now reconsider the matter in the light of new material.2 circumcision. The system of contractual gifts in Samoa is not confined to marriage. their ritual. In this society.3 sickness. namely. 8 and the absolute obligation to make return gifts under the penalty of losing the mana. destruction and fighting seemed to be absent. we had found no real potlatch in Polynesia. The Polynesian societies whose institutions came nearest to it appeared to have nothing beyond a system of total prestations. the ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’ property.1 The elements of rivalry. and in approaching the Polynesian data in the following chapter we shall see clearly the power which enforces the repayment of a gift and the fulfilment of contracts of this kind. On the other .

22 taonga are asked to destroy the person who receives them. magic and ritual. charms. especially the marriage mats14 inherited by the daughters of a marriage. the clan and the family than certain other property called oloa. clearly a recent extension. O. or rather the obligation.16 This term is also applied today to things obtained from Europeans. fighting and destruction for the complete potlatch.19 Here we meet that notion of magical property which we believe to be widely spread in the Malayo-Polynesian world and right over the Pacific. Since the child in fact lives with his maternal uncle he clearly has a right to live there and thus has a general right over his uncle’s property. The latter means indestructible property.20 2. powerful or influential. THE SPIRIT OF THE THING GIVEN (MAORI) This last remark leads to a contention of some importance. at any rate with the Maori. come through the wife into the newly founded family. coming from the parties who adopt it. This system of fosterage is much akin to the generally recognized right of the sister’s son over his uncle’s property in Melanesia.17 We may disregard as inexact and insufficient the translation suggested by Turner of oloa as foreign and tonga as native. Davis.’ In short.13 We need only the elements of rivalry. In the Maori. Our late friend Hertz saw the significance of this. the clan and the land.hand. Grey21 and C. these constitute real property. religious and spiritual power. In a proverb collected by Sir G. and which can be exchanged or used as compensation: that is to say. such objects of value as emblems.18 But if we extend our field of observation we immediately find a wider meaning of the notion tonga.’ ‘This sacrifice of natural ties creates a systematic facility in native and foreign property. and the trinkets and talismans which. and they have the power to do this if the law. closely attached to the individual. about making a return gift is not observed. Tahitian. yet it is not without significance. mats and sacred idols. on condition of repayment. and perhaps even traditions. as long as the child lives. which makes a man rich. Tongan and Mangarevan languages it denotes everything which may be rightly considered property. since it suggests that certain property called tonga is more closely bound up with the land. the child (feminine property) is the means whereby the maternal family’s property is exchanged for that of the paternal family. The taonga are. they are the vehicle of their mana—magical. disinterestedly he had written ‘for Davy and Mauss’ on the card containing the following note by . Now let us consider the terms oloa and more particularly tonga. the child is to its parents a source of foreign property or oloa.15 The oloa designates all the things which are particularly the husband’s personal property.

by means of feasts.27 and he makes me a present of something (taonga). a spiritual power. the hau of the forest. It is characteristic of the indefinite legal and religious atmosphere of the Maori and their doctrine of the ‘house of secrets’. Not at all.24 The exchange is carried out between tribes or acquainted families without any kind of stipulation. the hau of personal property. they exchange dried fish for pickled birds and mats.’ This capital text deserves comment. to its sanctuary of forest and clan and to its owner. but every individual to whom the taonga is transmitted. the hau of the taonga. It would not be right on my part to keep these taonga whether they were desirable or not. The obligation attached to a gift itself is not inert. its homeland. one of Mr. taonga.’23 For example. its soil. Now I give this thing to a third person who after a time decides to give me something in repayment for it (utu). Tamati Ranaipiri. but it is found to emerge as one of the leitmotifs of Maori custom. Now this taonga I received from him is the spirit (hau) of the taonga I received from you and which I passed on to him. Even when abandoned by the giver. If I were to keep this second taonga a for myself I might become ill or even die. the spirit of things and particularly of the forest and forest game.Colenso: ‘They had a kind of system of exchange. The taonga which I receive on account of the taonga that came from you. since he is forced to do so by the hau of my gift. But to be able to understand this Maori lawyer we need only say: ‘The taonga and all strictly personal possessions have a hau.31 The hau wants to return to the place of its birth. Suppose you have some particular object.’ Interpreted thus not only does the meaning become clear. the latter gives me taonga back. I give it to another. and the hau pursues him who holds it. The taonga or its hau—itself a kind of individual32—constrains a series of users to return some kind of taonga of their own. it still forms a part of him. gives quite by chance the key to the whole problem. But Hertz had also found—I discovered it amongst his papers—a text whose significance we had both missed. you give it to me without a price. while its owner. and I am obliged to give this one to you since I must return to you what is in fact the product of the hau of your taonga. Such is hau. Elsdon Best’s most useful informants.25 ‘I shall tell you about hau. it is surprisingly clear in places and offers only one obscurity: the intervention of a third person. You give me taonga.26 We do not bargain over it. Through it he has a hold over the recipient.30 It pursues not only the first recipient of it or the second or the third. I must return to you. and you give it to me. Hau is not the wind. Enough on that subject. for I had been unaware of it myself.29 For the taonga is animated with the hau of its forest. Speaking of the hau. entertainments or gifts of equivalent or superior . a hold over anyone who stole it. or rather of giving presents which had later to be exchanged or repaid. I must give them to you since they are the hau28 of the taonga which you gave me. some property or merchandise or labour. just as he had.

It is easy to find a large number of facts on the obligation to receive. To refuse to give.37 Again. but it implies two others equally important: the obligation to give presents and the obligation to receive them. household. but also because it comes morally. Whatever it is. A clan. it retains a magical and religious hold over the recipient.36 The obligation to give is no less important. The thing given is not inert. A complete theory of the three obligations would include a satisfactory fundamental explanation of this form of contract among Polynesian clans. physically and spiritually from a person. We shall return shortly to this point and show how our facts contribute to a general theory of obligation. To keep this thing is dangerous. to barter35 or to make blood and marriage alliances. who now becomes the latest recipient. We can see the nature of the bond created by the transfer of a possession. 33 possessions. 3.value. tribute and gifts in Samoa and New Zealand. we should also know how men came to exchange things with each other. one gives because one is forced to do so. Hence it follows that to give something is to give a part of oneself. association or guest are constrained to demand hospitality. THE OBLIGATION TO GIVE AND THE OBLIGATION TO RECEIVE To appreciate fully the institutions of total prestation and the potlatch we must seek to explain two complementary factors.34 to receive presents. food. because the . it is a refusal of friendship and intercourse. This or something parallel helps to explain two sets of important social phenomena in Polynesia and elsewhere. That seems to be the motivating force behind the obligatory circulation of wealth. Secondly. It is alive and often personified. It follows clearly from what we have seen that in this system of ideas one gives away what is in reality a part of one’s nature and substance. is like refusing to accept— the equivalent of a declaration of war. Such a return will give its donor authority and power over the original donor. children or ritual. while to receive something is to receive a part of someone’s spiritual essence. For the moment we simply indicate the manner in which the subject might be treated. we are led to a better understanding of gift exchange and total prestation. Total prestation not only carries with it the obligation to repay gifts received. If we understood this. But for the moment it is clear that in Maori custom this bond created by things is in fact a bond between persons. since the thing itself is a person or pertains to a person. and strives to bring to its original clan and homeland some equivalent to take its place. The Dayaks have even developed a whole set of customs based on the obligation to partake of any meal at which one is present or which one has seen in preparation. or to fail to invite. including the potlatch. not only because it is illicit to do so. We merely point out a few facts. women.

women. GIFTS TO MEN AND GIFTS TO GODS Another theme plays its part in the economy and morality of the gift: that of the gift made to men in the sight of gods or nature. these elements pass and repass between clans and individuals. the potlatch concerns not only men who rival each other in generosity. sexes and generations. the fish and shellfish of the Eskimo. We simply give some indications of the theme. and persons and groups that behave in some measure as if they were things. ranks. which are comparable with those of the sister’s son (vasu) in Fiji. and the spirits of the dead which take part in the transactions and whose names the men bear. In perpetual interchange of what we may call spiritual matter. animals and natural objects to be generous towards them. comprising men and things. Food.40 In all these instances there is a series of rights and duties about consuming and repaying existing side by side with rights and duties about giving and receiving. The pattern of symmetrical and reciprocal rights is not difficult to understand if we realize that it is first and foremost a pattern of spiritual bonds between things which are to some extent parts of persons. The effect upon nature has been well shown in a recent work on the Eskimo. the ‘Asking Festival’ or the ‘Inviting-in Festival’. labour. They are expressively called. on the game. land. Nelson and Porter have given us good descriptions of these ceremonies and the effect they have on the dead. and a strongly marked mythological element which we do not yet fully understand prevents us from advancing a theory. rank—everything is stuff to be given away and repaid. We have not undertaken the wider study necessary to reveal its real import. possessions. for the facts at our disposal do not all come from the areas to which we have limited ourselves.recipient has a sort of proprietary right over everything which belongs to the donor. services.39 We have seen above that the taonga sister’s son has customs of this kind in Samoa. 4. it concerns nature as well. In the societies of North-East Siberia41 and amongst the Eskimo of West 42 Alaska and the Asiatic coast of the Behring Straits. Exchanges between namesakes— people named after the same spirits—incite the spirits of the dead. and the objects they transmit or destroy. of gods.45 . charms. All these institutions reveal the same kind of social and psychological pattern. in the language of British trappers. religious offices.43 Men say that giftexchange brings abundance of wealth. Thus in Australia the man who owes all the game he kills to his father and mother-in-law may eat nothing in their presence for fear that their very breath should poison his food. children.38 This right is expressed and conceived as a sort of spiritual bond.44 Ordinarily they are not confined within the limits of winter settlements.

In doing this he is also sacrificing to the gods and spirits. It would be hard to find a better expression of this mode of thought.51 This is very evident in Eskimo. on the other hand.The Yuit have a mechanism. 53 It is not simply to show power and wealth and unselfishness that a man puts his slaves to death. and which may be as old as the potlatch itself: the belief that one has to buy from the gods and that the gods know how to repay the price. practise most the obligatory-voluntary gift exchanges in the course of protracted thanksgiving ceremonies which follow one after the other in every house throughout the winter. The top of the pole protrudes above the tent of which it forms the centre. Tlingit. carried on a greasy pole surmounted with the head of a walrus.50 In that case the exchanges and contracts concern not only men and things but also the sacred beings that are associated with them.52 With them it was particularly necessary to exchange and particularly dangerous not to. ready to return again in the next. like their Yuit neighbours.46 The theme is also to be found with the Koryak and Chukchee of the extreme north-west of Siberia. Where the men are masked incarnations. All forms of North-West American and North-East Asian potlatch contain this element of destruction. being possessed by the spirit whose name they bear. There has been a natural evolution. although he was present only at the whale festival. but. It is best seen in those societies where contractual and economic ritual is practised between men. a wheel decorated with all manner of provisions. they act as representatives of the spirits. But another theme appears which does not require this human support. Inside the tent it is manoeuvred by means of another wheel and is made to turn clockwise like the sun.47 Both have the potlatch. The system of sacrifice seems there to be very highly developed. taking with them all the game killed that year. burns his precious oil. This is expressed typically by the Toradja of the Celebes. Among the first groups of beings with whom men must have made contracts were the spirits of the dead and the gods. But it is the maritime Chukchee who. Kruyt tells us that the ‘owner’ can ‘buy’ . Sacrificial destruction implies giving something that is to be repaid. they return to their original home.48 Bogoras rightly compares these with the Russian koliada customs in which masked children go from house to house begging eggs and flour and none dare refuse them. throws coppers into the sea. and sets his house on fire.49 The connection of exchange contracts among men with those between men and gods explains a whole aspect of the theory of sacrifice. and one of the two kinds of Haida potlatch. They in fact are the real owners of the world’s wealth. The remains of the festival sacrifice are thrown into the sea or cast to the winds. Jochelsen mentions festivals of the same kind among the Koryak. This is a European custom. with them exchange was easiest and safest. often shamanistic. who appear incarnate in the men who are at once their namesakes and ritual allies.

dehi me have come down to us through religious texts.58 there the spirits rival each other in wealth as men do on their return from a solemn kula. if indeed he had ever ceased to be so. In this way evil influences are kept at bay. the Latin do ut des and the Sanskrit dadami se. at once ornament. for the gods who give and repay are there to give something great in exchange for something small. Before he cuts his wood or digs his garden or stakes out his house he must make a payment to the gods.64 These . for a human curse will allow these jealous spirits to enter and kill you and permit evil influences to act. This gift has a direct effect on the spirit of the tauvau. Van Ossenbruggen interprets in this way not only the throwing of money over the wedding procession in China. nevertheless. and conversely it realizes them to the full. This is an interesting suggestion which raises a series of points. the two kinds of vaygu’a — the kula ones and those which Malinowski now describes for the first time as ‘permanent’ vaygu’a57 — are exposed and offered up to the spirits. who is both a theorist and a distinguished observer. but even bridewealth itself. These gifts to children and poor people are pleasing to the dead. the children go round the huts saying: ‘Shall I enter?’ The reply is: ‘Oh prick-eared hare.60 Gifts to men and to gods have the further aim of buying peace.63 Again. and if you commit a fault towards another man you become powerless against them.61 We see how it might be possible to embark upon a theory and history of contractual sacrifice.55 Again at the mila-mila festival.62 A further note: on Alms Later in legal and religious evolution man appears once more as representative of the gods and the dead. has noted another point about these institutions. and the only way to prevent it is to give presents of wheat to the poor. For instance among the Hausa there is often a fever epidemic when the guinea-corn is ripe.54 With regard to certain forms of exchange which we describe later Malinowski remarks on facts of the same order from the Trobriands.56 a potlatch in honour of the dead.59 Van Ossenbruggen.from the spirits the right to do certain things with his or rather ‘their’ property. even when not personified. and who lives on the spot. Thus although the notion of purchase seems to be little developed in the personal economic life of the Toradja. the idea of purchase from gods and spirits is universally understood. for a bone one gets service’ (the poor man is happy to work for the rich). A malignant spirit is evoked—a tauvau whose body has been found in a snake or a land crab—by means of giving it vaygu’a (a precious object used in kula exchanges. at the time of the great prayer (Baban Salla). Perhaps then it is not the result of pure chance that the two solemn formulas of contract. charm and valuable). Now this sacrifice presupposes institutions of the type we are describing. who take the shades of them away to the country of the dead. among the Hausa of Tripolitania.

mentions this text. 3 ‘Foi Jurée’. For we can say that the basic elements of the potlatch are found in Polynesia even if the complete institution is not found there. Lenoir. the gods and spirits consent that the portion reserved for them and destroyed in useless sacrifice should go to the poor and the children. a purely gratuitous promise . . But for Anglo-Saxon law our immediate point has been noted by Pollock and Maitland. gage and lease. p. ‘L’Institution du Potlatch’ in Revue Philosophique. and it later came to mean alms. European and Berber at the same time. ––––––––––––––––––––––––– NOTES to INTRODUCTORY 1 Cassel in his Theory of Social Economy. II. begot the doctrine of charity and alms which later went round the world with Christianity and Islam. Generosity is necessary because otherwise Nemesis will take vengeance upon the excessive wealth and happiness of the rich by giving to the poor and the gods. 12. Zum Begriff der Schenkung. Negro. I have been unable to consult Burckhard.68 in any event gift-exchange is the rule. Originally the Arabic sadaka meant.’ Cf. But to emphasize this theme would simply be a show of erudition if it did not extend beyond Polynesia. Vol. exchange. 53 ff. . would have been enforced. It is the old gift morality raised to the position of a principle of justice. 2 . like the Hebrew zedaqa. Let us now shift the subject and demonstrate that at least the obligation to give has a much wider distribution. 82: ‘The wide word “gift” . Then we shall show the distribution of the other types of obligation and demonstrate that our interpretation is valid for several other groups of societies.’ See also the essay by Neubecker on the Germanic dowry. will cover sale. Comparison takes us farther afield.67 The value of the documents and commentaries we have quoted in this chapter is not merely local. We can say that the Mishnic era. 65 ff. Here at any rate is the beginning of a theory of alms. . Die Mitgift. Alms are the result on the one hand of a moral idea about gifts and wealth66 and on the other of an idea about sacrifice. 345. ‘Une Forme archaique de Contrat chez les Thraces’ in Revue des Etudes Grecques. 1921. see bibliography in Mauss. . pp. pp. History of English Law. 1924. the time of the victory of the Paupers at Jerusalem.customs may be Islamic in origin. 212-14: ‘Perhaps we may doubt whether . 1909. II. p. since it does not mean alms in The Bible. exclusively justice.65 or Islamic. . R. pp. It was at this time that the word zedaqa changed its meaning. Vol. .

6 We wrote recently that in Australia. Wirtschaftsleben der primitiven Völker. 1914. p. and Porter. and on p. Among the Kakadu of the Northern Territory there are three mortuary ceremonies. strong on presentation of material but for the rest rather hair-splitting. During the third the men have a kind of inquest to find out who is the sorcerer responsible for the death. Spencer then states that the objects can then be exchanged for spears. in which a chapter is devoted to exchange. who realize the reason for the visit. especially on a death. notes the character of the festivals and rituals although he did not call them ‘potlatch’. 247). and not merely amongst clans and phratries. But the custom is easy enough to understand. pp.g. The spears are piled and in accordance with a known scale the required objects are set before them. F. Tribes of the Northern Territories. Boursin in Eleventh Census. Tlingit Indianer. e. and which sets up an inter-tribal market. ‘Ethnologische Wirtschaftsordnung’. although he considers theft to be primitive and confuses it with the right to take. 8 See specially the remarkable rules of the ball game among the Omaha: Fletcher and la Flesche. pp. The exchange of objects is simultaneously an exchange of peace pledges and of sentiments of solidarity in mourning. The men simply gather with their spears and state what they require in exchange. 18. But he fails to see the connection between the mortuary ceremony and the exchange of gifts. A good exposition of Maori data is to be found in W. 611-51 and 971-1079. adding that the natives themselves do not see it. of shared food and drink. alliance. 1903. 1912. It is a pact which takes the place of a feud. ‘Wirtschaftsorganisation der Maori’ in Beiträgungen Lamprecht. has some sound discussion on this. of wealth. 5 Grierson. 197 and 366. von Brun. marriage. Institut Solvay. saw and named the reciprocal glorification in 4 .. 4. The only difference here is that the custom is extended to the tribal basis. argued conclusively against this view. the Umoriu. 54-66. Samlo. favour. and the theme of jealousy in marriage are all clearly represented. See also Von Moszkowski. honour. 1915-16.. in Anthropos. Olympiads. ‘Omaha Tribe’ in Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology. 1905-6. Next day the spears are taken to another tribe. 156 suggests that he is on the lines of our own argument. Der Güterverkehr in der Urgesellschaft. 1909. pp.M. 33. Silent Trade. pp. 19l1. VIII. The most recent comprehensive work on so-called primitive economics is Koppers. ibid. there is the beginning of exchange on a tribal basis. The whole passage still reflects the kind of situation we are describing. Then the Kakadu take them away (Baldwin Spencer. 234 ff. a fact we do not fully understand. 9 Krause. p. 7 A poet as late as Pindar could say νεανια γαµβρω προπινων οικοθν οικαδε. The themes of the gift. Contrary to normal Australian custom no feud follows. In Australia this is normally seen only between clans and families which are in some way associated or related by marriage.

our notes in A. 1912. The economic and ritual aspects are no less important and merit the same detailed study. 15 See our observations in A. Bulletin de la Societe de Géographie de Québec. pp. It seems to us. as have the values attributed to them. p. XI. Boas. XI. Cf. cf. . Samoa. 180. p. 4 Stair. where there is an interesting description of the way the clan brings its potlatch contributions to the chief. although the literal meaning is ‘Place of getting Satiated’ —Kwa. Nineteen Years in Polynesia. 75. We consider also the ‘Asking Festival’ of the Alaskan Eskimo as something more than a mere borrowing from neighbouring Indian tribes. 17 Revue des Etudes Grecques. 52-63. 255. p. 345. gift and food. It will be in your name. p. are not exclusive since the usual content of the gift. in Forschungen. 10 On the meaning of the word potlatch. here at any rate. that Davy does not take into account the original meaning of the word.. The religious nature of the people involved and of the objects exchanged or destroyed have a bearing on the nature of the contracts.S. and in the Festchrift to Seler. pp. 101 and XIII. p. 1921. 1340. and by Davy in Foi Jurée. uses the word ‘feeder’. III. T. in Foi Jurée. Kwa. Swanton. Vol. p. Turner. Old Samoa. II. 1 . p. see Barbeau. The chief says: ‘It will not be in my name. has the best commentary.. Old Samoa. Stair. 1920. 91. Samoa-Inseln. pp. when it is said that you have given your property for a potlatch’ (p. 372-4. 225. 178.S. 14 The potlatch is not confined to the tribes of the North-West. however. 517.. and Anthropologie. 82 ff. Sept. and Foi Jurée.. 19l l. 11 The legal aspect of potlatch has been discussed by Adam in his articles in the Zeitschrift für vergleichende Rechtswissenschaft starting 19ll. But the two meanings suggested. Lenoir notes two clear potlatch traits in South America. 1342). p. Samoa. p. 140. 162. . 3 Krämer. admittedly for the Kwakiutl and not the Chinook. XXXIV. NOTES to CHAPTER I Davy. 172. I. 1920. XXVI. 43. 12 The Haida call it ‘killing wealth’. 16 Thurnwald. is food. 2 Nineteen Years in Polynesia. in ‘Social Conditions .. 1924. Vol. Kwa. 13 See Hunt’s documents in Eth. 8. studies these exchanges with reference to the marriage contract. uses this word. p.. Here we point out further implications. and a record of some of the discourses. T..the potlatch. 207 and in Foi Jurée. of the Tlingit Indians’ in Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology. and you will become famous among the tribes. however. p. ‘Expéditions Maritimes en Mélanésie’ in Anthropologie. II.

178. 52. 37. 9 This is not properly potlatch because the counter-prestation lacks the element of usury. Samoa-Insel. 1924. Maori Nomenclature in A. pp. 96. 313. 7 Krämer. they were ‘the chief wealth of the natives. Vol. Dictionnaire Samoan-Français. 10 Turner. 179. 420 and Durkheim’s remarks in V. We do not intend to follow the exaggerations of the English school of Rivers and Elliot Smith or those of the Americans who. indeed at one time were used as a medium of currency in payment 6 5 . 13 See our remarks on the Fiji vasu in ‘Procès verbal de J. But as we shall see with the Maori the fact that no return is made implies the loss of mana. p. 12 Nineteen Years in Polynesia. p. Ella. but still we grant that an important part is played by the spreading of institutions. 179. defines toga as ‘native valuables consisting of fine mats. it is fosterage. II. guns’. Samoa. VII. Maori Comparative Dictionary. but in fact it marks a return to his uterine family (the father’s sister is the spouse of the mother’s brother). 15 Ibid. This is wrong. describes the ie tonga (mats). I. and oloa valuables such as houses. e. Samoa. says the young man is ‘adopted’.. 87. go (toga equals Mitgift). p. 146. p. p. p. p. Anthropologie. p. p. Violette.I. p. p. Samoa. In Polynesia both maternal and paternal relatives are classificatory. 8 Rivalry among Maori clans is often mentioned. 14 Krämer. 16 Ibid.g.Turner. after Boas. p. Vol. Nineteen Years in Polynesia. Samoa. 296. II. 83. or of ‘face’ as the Chinese say. Smith. gl. whom we quote later. in Journal of Polynesian Society.S. 1921. Vol. recognizes this. See our review of E. Journal of Polynesian Society XV. ‘Polynesian Native Clothing’. 11 Turner. The theme of honour through ruin is fundamental to North-West American potlatch. 482. II. Cf. and he refers back to oa. Nineteen Years in Polynesia. Vol. p. boats. Malinowski. 105.. Nineteen Years in Polynesia. p. particularly with regard to festivals. Samoa. valuables in general. P. Krämer uses the word Gegenschenk for the exchange of oloa and tonga which we shall discuss. 186. p. see the whole American potlatch as a series of borrowings. 477. The malaga trading expedition (cf the walaga of New Guinea) is very like the potlatch and characteristic of the neighbouring Melanesian archipelago. Krämer. Best. p. Samoa-Inseln. The Rev. It is specially important in this area where trading expeditions go great distances between islands and have done from early times. I. Education is outside his own family certainly. 468 under taonga confuses this with oloa.. 90. Vol. ibid. p. 83.. Turner. 178.’. ‘Expéditions maritimes en Mélanésie’ in Anthropologie. VIII.F. 94 exchanges of oloa and toga. 184. there must have been transmitted not only the articles of merchandise but also methods of exchange. 17 Nineteen Years in Polynesia. 165. c£ p. by S. p. the same is true for Samoa. See Lenoir.A. cloth.

‘Origines de la Notion de la Monnaie’ in Anthropologie. means both wind and soul. 120. XLII. interchange of property. 354. 93. The word mana is reserved for men and spirits and is not applied to things as much as in Melanesian languages. and many old ie are well known and more highly valued as having belonged to some celebrated family. The sins of theft. especially those concerned with hau whitia and kai hau. moreover. 19 See Maori Comparative Dictionary under taonga: (Tahitian) tataoa. go. I. Mauri are talismans. . Vol. Vol. 435. etc. 23 In Transactions of the New Zealand Institute. safeguards and sanctuaries where the clan soul (hapu) dwells with its mana and the hau of its land. taetae. 1914. like the Latin spiritus. also for barter. who are supposed to exchange their produce. Best translates hau whitia well as ‘averted hau’. 25 Ibid. More precisely hau is the spirit and power of inanimate and vegetable things. as a result. to compensate. 103. to give property. Hertz in his Péché et l’Expiation. the object is surrounded by taboos and marked by its owner. translation. in North America and in our own folklore. See especially ‘Spiritual Concepts’ in Journal of Polynesian Society.’ Cf. 22 Maori Momentoes. Turner. 232. 439. and has hau. (Marquesan) Lesson. p. 18 Krämer. 26 The word hau. II. p. 27 Utu means satisfaction in blood vengeance. ‘Forest-Lore’. ‘local produce given in exchange for foreign goods’. Samoa. of non-repayment. etc. Polynésiens. faataoa. 21. 20 See Mauss. tiau tae-tae. and IX. 157. spiritual power. The root of the word is tahu. at marriage and other special occasions of courtesy. 24 New Zealand tribes are divided in theory by the Maori themselves into fishermen. 30 In Hertz will be found material on the mauri to which we allude here. 28 He hau.. Radiguet. l0 (Maori text). p. Cf. This hau avenges theft. p. X. They are often retained in families as heirlooms. in Transactions of the New Zealand Institute. p. Best’s documents require more comment than we can give here. They show that the sanction against theft is the mystical effect of the mana of the object stolen. where most of the facts quoted. agriculturalists and hunters. controls the thief.. p. Derniers Sauvages. presents given. Best. 29 Many facts illustrating this point were collected by R. 431. II. 21 Proverbs. belong to this domain. pp. p. Samoa-Inseln. bewitches him and leads him to death or constrains him to restore the object. except for Negrito and American material. These sentences were all abridged by Best.for work. 198. We shall see that these expressions have their equivalents in Melanesia.

32 The taonga seem to have an individuality beyond that of the hau. Williams. IX. ‘Spiritual Concepts’ in Journal of Polynesian Society. 113. etc. which derives from their relationship with their owner. IX.of non-counter-prestation are a ‘turning aside’ of the spirit (hau) as in the case of a refusal to make an exchange or give a present. 47.’ European vocabularies have not the ability to describe the complexity of these ideas. Maori Dictionary. p. A Maori document gives the name taonga to the karakia. Maori Comparative Dictionary. Indonesian and Polynesian civilization. The association of ideas becomes clearer: hospitality. irek. ‘Forest Lore’. They bear names. its personification. law. . It would take much space to study Maori food beliefs so we simply point out that this personification of food is identical with Rongo. pahuni. The only difficulty is in recognizing the institution. Kai hau is badly translated as the equivalent of hau whitia. IX. A feast (in the South). 35 See Best. 133. Tregear. return present by way of acknowledgement for a present received’. jades that are the sacred property of the clan chiefs. 126. Dayak Wörterbuch under indjok. For instance. from the manuscript of Colenso) they comprise: the pounamu. communion. although we have sought for an equivalent). in Journal of Polynesian Society. sculptured tiki. p.’ This signifies that the return gift is really the ‘spirit’ of the original prestation returning to its point of departure: ‘food that is the hau of other food.. ‘Do not despise tahu’ is the injunction to a person who refuses a gift of food. ‘Maori Mythology’. 31 We draw attention to the expression kai-hau-kai. Maori Comparative Dictionary. individual heritable magic spells. 34 We should really discuss here the ideas implied in the interesting Maori expression ‘to despise tahu’. John describes the way in which (in Brunei) the aristocrats seek tribute from the Bisayas by first giving them a present of cloth to be repaid with high interest over a number of years (Life in the Forests of the Far East. the word hau itself also belongs to the realm of ideas. it is under the name of ‘compulsory trade’ that Spencer St. 198. 36 See Hardeland. made by one tribe to another. food. It implies the act of eating the soul. But kai refers to food and the word alludes to the sharing of food and the fault of remaining in debt over it. 116: ‘The return present of food. the god of plants and of peace. the rare. under kai and whangai). XLII. Journal of Polynesian Society. According to the best authorities (Maori Comparative Dictionary under pounamu. The comparative study of these institutions could be extended to cover the whole of Malayan. 33 E. Further. and may well be synonymous with whangai hau (cf. says ‘hau. exchange. The main document is Best. various kinds of mats of which one is called koruwai (the only Maori word recalling the Samoan oloa. 449. peace. Best. Tahu is a symbolic name for food in general. in Transactions of the New Zealand Institute.

p. he replied that ‘food would not follow his back’. H. Northern Tribes of Central Australia. ‘That is because our mana has preceded us and driven all the food (fish and birds) afar off that they may not be visible to the people. Our mana has banished them. 40 On vasu see especially Williams.Vol. the right of in-laws and what may be called ‘permitted theft’. identical rites in Hindu hospitality. In fact the two rules are closely connected like the gifts they prescribe. the guest receives a parting gift (Tregear. Taylor. 60. Steinmetz. ‘Short Traditions of the South Island’ in Journal of Polynesian Society. The Maori Race. Vol. refused food unless he had been seen and received by the village he was visiting. 29). See . his host should have a meal ready for him straight away and himself partake of it humbly. pp. hunting grounds and fisheries—their entire sources of food. Arunta. Vol. a fault which. when cooked it is taken’ (it is better to eat half-cooked food and to wait until strangers arrive than to have it cooked and be obliged to share it with them). The right of the sister’s son is only analogous to family communism. p. according to legend.) Maori ritual of hospitality comprises: an obligatory invitation that should not be refused or solicited. Chief Hekemaru. 76. II). and thus destroyed their cultivations. 39 E. is called puha. on leaving. There are other rights present. 37 Not to invite one to a war dance is a sin. See later. p. in the South Island. X. The error arises from the custom of civilized Malayans of borrowing cultural traits from their less civilized brothers without understanding them. de Croisilles. the guest must approach the reception house looking straight ahead. They would have committed kaipapa. I. translates a proverb expressing this: ‘When raw it is seen. II. We do not enumerate all the Indonesian data on this point. UnmatJera. The people hunt and fish for good food. 41 See Chakchee. Hence the proverb: ‘Food will not follow at the back of Hekemaru’ (Tregear. The Maori Race. 38 Among the tribe of Tuhoe Best (‘Maori Mythology’ in Journal of Polynesian Society. his mana precedes him. Spencer and Gillen. If his procession passed through unnoticed and then messengers arrived begging him to return and take food. 132. Fiji and the Fijians. 34. p. VIII. 1858. a ‘sin against food’. Kaitish. Obligation to give. (Note tahua means a gift of food. 610.g. He meant that food offered to the ‘sacred back of his head’ would endanger those who gave it. They get nothing. 113) saw these principles: When a famous chief is to visit a district. and cf.) This rather difficult passage describes the condition of the land as the result of a hapu of hunters who had failed to make preparations to receive the chief of another clan. T. Entwickelung für die Strafe. 241 ff.’ (There follows an explanation of snow in terms of whai riri—a sin against water—which keeps food away from men. 79). no. Te ika a mani. p. receive and return gifts and hospitality is more marked with the Maritime than the Reindeer Chukchee.

3. 637. This is a clear and rare example (I know of others in Australia and America) of representation in ritual of a theme which is frequent enough in mythology: the spirit of jealousy which.‘Social Organization’. II. 45. 303. who have only communal winter festivals and gift exchange. so the Eskimo might have borrowed from them. and especially Wrangold Statistische Ergebnisse. ‘The Inviting-in Feast of the Alaskan Eskimos’ in Canadian Geological Survey.. Cf p. This theory confirms the archaeological and anthropological theories on the origin of the Eskimo and their civilization. The special totems and masks of the western festivals are clearly of Indian derivation. Anthropological Series. 634. whose mask he wears and who tell him they have enjoyed the . 7. 9 description of one such festival. 45 Hawkes. pp.. This seems proved by Thalbitzer. In ‘Variations saisonnières’ we considered Alaskan Eskimo feasts as a combination of Eskimo elements and potlatch borrowings. But since writing that we have found the true potlatch as well as gift customs described for the Chukchee and Koryak in Siberia. Unalaklit v. ‘Religion’. Hawkes. Vol. 12-14). ‘Eskimos about Behring Straits’ in Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology. The best dancers receive valuable presents (pp. leaves hold of its object. Life with the Esquimaux. 12l. ‘The Labrador Eskimo’ in Canadian Geological Survey.. See our ‘Variations saisonnières des Sociétés Eskimos’ in A. Hawkes. II. ibid. 7. XVIII. The Inviting-in Festival ends with a visit of the angekok (shaman) to the spirit-men. etc. 375. and Porter. 44 Nelson. but to the central Eskimo. One must then say that the eastern Eskimo have a potlatch of very ancient origin. p. 141. Everything points to the fact that the western Eskimo are nearer the origin linguistically and ethnologically than the eastern and central. This shows that the notion extends beyond the limits of the potlatch proper. inua. Also the plausible theory of Sauvageot (‘Journal des Américanistes’. A recent work on the Eskimo gives other tales which impart generosity. VII. 1924) on the Asiatic origin of Eskimo languages should be taken into account. II. Malemiut.. when it laughs. It is remarkable that this is found not with reference to the Alaskan potlatch. 159. 42 The obligation to give is a marked Eskimo characteristic. The disappearance in east and central Arctic America of the Eskimo potlatch is ill explained except by the gradual degeneration of the eastern Eskimo societies. 43 Hall.. Jesup North Pacific Expedition. 320. pp. Memo. Anthropological Series. ibid.S. 132. the right of the guest to demand what he wants and his obligation to give a present. One of the most characteristic traits is the series of comical prestations on the first day and the gifts concerned. p. Cf rules for sacrificing and slaughtering reindeer. For the ‘asking stick’. the duty of inviting. IX. 138. p. cf. One tribe tries to make the other laugh and can demand anything it wants. 11th Census.

. 16. 72. p. p. 50 This is a basic trait of all North-West American potlatch.g. 1922. Vol. 49 Chukchee. since the ritual is so totemistic that its effect upon nature is less evident than its influence over spirits. 64. then their (assistant) spirits and lastly their bodies (p. e. XII. VI. Thereafter they are not entirely successful for they forget to exchange their bracelets and tassels (‘my guide in motion’). refers. Polynesian Mythology. Cf ‘Baloma. I. 48 Koryak. Vol. 58 The Maori myth of Te Kanava (Grey.—in other words taonga) displayed in their honour. 512. Soc. 224 ff.. 98. The Golden Bough (3rd edn. etc. 91 ff. 19) the festival of the Dene described by Chapman (Congrès des Américanistes de Québec. go. also pp. II) as an Eskimo borrowing from Indians. 78-85. r63-8. ibid. On customs of this type see Frazer..’ Sec. Chukchee Mythology.. Is8-9. p. 487. These objects have the same spiritual value as the spirits themselves. p. pp. 47 Ibid. 400. It is more obvious in the Behring Straits.. 1907. 52 Jochelsen. pp.e. ‘Life of the Copper Eskimos’ in Report of the Canadian Arctic Expedition. pp. they exchange their magic knives and necklaces. pp. 3 and 5 of the summary. p... pp. III. O spirits You heard that we were hungry We shall receive many things from you. 14. however. 399-401. Routledge edn. Cf the gift made to seals. One shaman asks another: ‘With what will you answer?’ (i. in Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute. Hawkes rightly considers (p. p. 15).dance and will send game. 55 Argonauts. Vol. 54 Koopen. p. 9. It is not very noticeable. A struggle ensues but finally they come to an agreement.). p. Jesup North Pacific Expedition. especially with the Chukchee and the Eskimo potlatch of Saint-Lawrence Isle. X. 161. 51 See potlatch myth in Bogoras. An identical myth . p. 30. Hawkes. 184 57 Ibid. ‘Koryak Religion’. Vol. 511. the chief naskuk has no right to refuse a gift or food however scarce it may be for fear of being evermore disgraced. 56 Ibid. make return gift).. Other themes of gift-giving customs are strongly marked. Spirits of the Dead’. Jennes. 403. 46 See illustration in Chuktchee. pp. 213) relates how spirits took the shadows of the pounamu (jasper. pp. 169 ff. p. 178. 1917. A Kwakiutl spirit song (from winter ceremony shamanism) comments: ‘You send us all things from the other world. 53 Foi Jurée..

Yeats. Origin and Development of Moral Ideas. On fertility in marriage assured by gifts made to the spouses see later. etc. when the attitude of the recipients is identical with that in New Caledonian. generosity and liberality. Religion of the Semites. 65 Robertson Smith. god of war. voorn. 386. Land-. p. p. has already put forward a hypothesis on these lines. Ethnographie de Madagascar. 63 Tremearne. See Hubert and Mauss. Vol. 64 Tremearne. 67 See Westermarck. I. en Volkenk. Haussa Superstitions and Customs. v. 13. Fijian and New Guinea festivals. 141-5. Mythology and Traditions in New Zealand. 67). I. tot de Taal-. a myth in Grey. See especially History of Human Marriage. that I may place in heaps . Melanesians. The Maori Race. p. 1913. 68 Questions tend to pose themselves after one’s research is finished. A song collected by Sir E. p. the display of food.g. 1853. 245-6. hakari (Tregear. pp. pp. p.. Polynesian Mythology. 55. 60 ‘Het Primitieve Denken. Cf. p. 394 ff. 113) has many of the same details as the similarly named hekarai of the Koita Melanesians. Maori Comparative Dictionary under hakari. Indie.S. 239. 257) tells the same tale about red shell necklaces and how they gain the favours of the beautiful Manapu. Vol. p. 2nd edn. 132) has verse 2: ‘Give me taonga from this direction Give me taonga. 513. See Seligman. Chap. 283: the poor are the guests of God. His approach is vitiated since he identifies the system of total prestations and the more highly developed potlatch in which the exchanges (including exchange of women in marriage) form only a part. 139. An Account of New Zealand. 1835. XXIII on notions of alms. 189 which describes the hakari of Maru. 510. II.. and I have not been able to re-read all the literature. 1915. But I have no doubt that we could find many more significant traces of the potlatch in Polynesia.) lays too much claim to the novelty of his data which are identical with aspects of Tlingit and Haida potlatch. The Ban of the Bori. Te ika a mani. 62 Vajasaneyisamhita. Nederl. p. p. 61 Crawley.from Mangaia (Wyatt Gill. p. II. Cf Tregear. in Pokkengebruiken’ in Bijdr. 66 The Betsimisaraka of Madagascar tell how of two chiefs one shared out all his possessions and the other kept all of his. God sent fortune to the generous chief and ruined the selfish one (Grandidier. 105. On the hakari see also Taylor. Myths and Songs from the South Paciic. Grey (Konga Moteatea. 59 Argonauts. e. p. Vol. LXXI. ‘Essai sur le Sacrifice’ in A. and Westermarck examined it and adduced some proof. Malinowski (p. The Mystic Rose. p.

‘Wars of the Northern against the Southern Tribes’ in Journal of Polynesian Society.p. Marcel Mauss. II. etc. Percy Smith. 156. p. Even although the potlatch may not exist in present Polynesian society it may well have existed in the civilization overrun and absorbed by the irnmigration of Polynesians. Vol.To place them in heaps towards the land To place them in heaps towards the sea.. Ethnologie de Madagascar. Grandidier. I.. forme archaïque de l’échange. There are clearer traces with the Maori who have chiefs and where clans are set in rivalry against each other. pp. In Madagascar the relationships amongst the Lohateny who trade and may insult or ruin each other also show traces of a former potlatch.’ It is seen how important the notion of taonga is to the ritual of the festival. may be studied from this angle. cf.. Translated by Ian Cunnison from Essai sur le don. thus one of the chief conditions of the potlatch is absent: an unstable hierarchy changeable from time to time by the jealousy of chiefs. Give me my taonga. 155. Samoa-Inseln. 375 and index under ifoga for destruction of property of the American and Melanesian manner. Perhaps the Maori nuru. 1925 . for in the islands there is a hierarchy of clans clustered round a monarchy. Cf. and the latter themselves may have had it before their migration. VIII. destruction of property following a misdemeanour. See Krämer. There is in fact a good reason why it should have disappeared from a part of the area. 131-3. Vol.

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